1.5 million workers are getting a raise thanks to Britain’s new minimum wage, one of the biggest increases in Britain’s history.
The minimum wage will now be set at £8.75 an hour ($13.38) for people aged 21 or over, double the previous rate. Employees aged under 21 will get a wage of £7.83 ($11.55) an hour. More than 50,000 workers will also get the same rate for night shifts.
Britain’s new minimum wage came into effect on April 1 as Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged to boost wages and tighten the public finances during his last budget.
The government has also reduced the tax burden on low-paid workers by offering them a temporary 5 percent tax allowance and increasing the childcare allowance from £25 a week ($34.90) to £40.
Ministers launched a campaign to raise awareness of the changes before May’s general election, which they lost by a record-high 12 percentage points. They are now preparing to launch a formal debate on Wednesday about the proposed changes.
“This move will give low-paid workers the raise that they so desperately need, and relieve the growing pressure on low-paid families across the UK,” Philip Hammond, the chancellor, said.
“It’s already helping people find a decent job and we want it to drive opportunities and prosperity for generations to come.”